Buddha: We wish to speak to you today about extremes. Because extremes move in different ways from a perceived central point, are they any different? No. To clarify, if one is looking to get fit, becoming a couch potato could be extreme, exercising for five hours a day could be perceived as extreme. Are they any different? While the behaviors of a couch potato person and someone who is exercising five hours a day may seem radically different, extremes are extremes.
People who move into extreme behaviors are cut off from their center, so, although we are speaking about extremes, we are actually speaking about those who are devoid of center.
At Wimbledon, the most prestigious court is center court. I like this! One of the best thing or compliments that can be given to a person is that they are centered. Would you trust someone more or less if you described them as centered? Would it be easier to love someone more or less if they were centered?
Humans were designed to be centered yet many spend their lives rushing around in extremes. What do I mean? I mean that ‘centered’ means feeling strong, feeling safe and sound within your own being. How many people actually spend time practicing this within their day-to-day activities? Equally, as there are so few people who practice feeling centered, there are also fewer people who exist in their center; center is all there is.
I ask that all readers find their center. How do you know where your center is? It’s the mind state that makes you feel ‘centered’. I try not to play with words. Sometimes I resist the opportunities to play with minds other times I don’t. The irony is that it is the mind that takes one out of ones center! But let’s not toy here.
To get into your center stop, breathe. You can still do all that you need to do in your day-to-day activities. You can go to work, be at work, come home from work, cook, sleep: centered. You can wake up the children, feed the children, take the children to school, get on with your daily chores, collect the children, feed the children, feed yourself: being centered. Or you can become un-centered and end up in extremes whereby you are in a rush to get to work, rush to complete your work, rush to get home, rush to cook, rush to get to bed. Similarly you can become lost in the chores or lose you own center by focusing on the children’s centers. Are the children fine, are the children fed, are the children ready are the children this, are the children that? These are extremes. I will speak about child rearing at a different time for now it is suffice to say if you are lucky enough to be raising children physically, then be aware- as they say on the airlines, fit your own oxygen mask before you fit that of the child’s. In this case center yourself. A centered parent will raise centered children: simple as that.
So this is your message today from the center to the center, saying find your center. How do you do that? Stop, breathe, be present. Once you have this go about your day to day activities and you will be successful. Success follows center. Spend a minute now thinking about how mundane tasks feel when you’re centered and how mundane tasks feel when you’re not. Similarly think about a big event. How does a big event feel when you’re centered and how does a big event feel when you’re not.
This exercise itself should conclude the importance to you of being centered at all times.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Integration and Disintegration
TM: I feel like for many years I have tried to integrate my human self with my spiritual self. At times I feel I have reached some measure of success only to witness set backs in the form of failures in my life—failures to live purely in my convictions, or failures in relationships, etc. How can we feel one moment in the complete bliss of integration and then later as if things have become unraveled?
Master Buddha: There is a natural progression toward integration that includes disintegration. It’s the same as when you try to affix one object to another and the seal is not set just right. Maybe there is debris mixed in the seal. Maybe there are gaps in the seal. Whether it’s obstruction or space, the seal is not complete and can be easily pried apart with the least amount of stress to one of the objects. Your human personality and your spirit work in a similar fashion.
Once you are inspired and begin to inquire about your spiritual nature you begin to receive information about spirit. You begin to look at your human life through a new filter. You begin to question your life and its meaning. This is the beginning of integration.
Recognize what is happening even in this beginning. There is a natural disintegration of your human personality, that is, due to new, incoming information from spirit your personality begins to fragment and parts begin to modify. Some parts you may let go—destruction. Some parts you may transform. But what was before is no longer the same. Disintegration within the personality has occurred. At the same time, integration has begun between spirit and personality. However minute that may be, it is an integration.
There is a series of cycles of integration and disintegration that occurs. This may go on for a period of time until the tension resolves and you conclude that you have settled on a point of integration. That is what you describe as the point of bliss.
That state persists for some time until there is a crisis, which disturbs that state. New tension is created and you begin the cycle of disintegration—the tension must be resolved. Suddenly you may realize that all the beliefs you adopted in your quest for spiritual alignment where somehow off. You shed them as a snake sheds his skin. Now you are disintegrating your spiritual concepts.
The process is one by which personality disintegrates, spirit disintegrates, the combination of the two in relationship disintegrates and then it begins a new cycle of integration.
TM: So when do we know we’ve reached the final point of integration? How long will this go on? It’s tiring and almost maddening.
MB: It is no different really than my opening example. It continues until you have properly removed the debris or space between the two objects of integration.
TM: Won’t there always be things we can’t or don’t know about ourselves, personally or spiritually?
MB: This is the great challenge of enlightenment—when do you reach that point? Who can know, perhaps one who is fully enlightened? But how do you know who that is if you are not fully enlightened yourself? Is that not the basis of faith? Faith covers the gap between what you know to be true and what you don’t know. It is the motivation to continue, because you believe in the process.
TM: Makes me want to give up at times and say this is bogus, a waste of time.
MB: Yes, and for a while you might do that. That’s a point of disintegration between your personality and your spiritual self. When faith or belief in the process can’t be the salve to satisfy the tension, then abandonment is a choice. That’s natural.
TM: So, that happens, then what? Why would I get on the treadmill again?
MB: You may not. You may decide to live from the perspective that your personality is all there is. That the state of personality is all there is for everybody and that is your world. You may find some new evidence that pushes you back into inquiry, which starts the cycle of integration and disintegration again.
TM: I’ve done both of those things. It’s wearing me out.
MB: Yet it continues. So, something within you pushes through the haze and says try again. What pushes?
TM: I don’t know, something happens and it starts again. Maybe I should pay attention, but it seems like before I know it I’m inquiring again.
MB: Well, let that be a mystery for now. As you progress through the cycle maybe that is revealed for you. Then it will be okay for a while until something else happens to disturb it.
TM: So, basically you’re saying that it is a struggle forever and I’ll either engage the process or I won’t.
MB: I’m not saying it’s a struggle forever. I’m saying that it’s a struggle for as long as it is and that it doesn’t really matter how long it takes. Until such time that your spiritual self can tap into its essence within your personality and transmute it into a reflection of spirit, you will go through various stages of integration and disintegration. Your impatience may serve you to keep trying or it may persuade you to abandon the process. Your choice.
TM: Yeah, I always come back.
MB: One simple truth is that you don’t really have a choice in the long run. You can abandon the process for a while or you can push too hard and feel frustrated. But your spiritual self is never dormant or absent. Spirit isn’t time-constrained, as is your personality. And that may be something you have to take upon faith. Maybe you already accept that, but have to just not think about it for a while. It doesn’t matter. You will eventually resume the cycle. That is the natural order of life on earth.
Buddha: What you’ve to understand is that all is here. All is neither waiting nor ready, it simply is. This is what can be tapped into. You have been fed information about slipstream and how all exists within the slipstream below the level of conscious thought. By bringing consciousness to the fore, thought becomes secondary, and an awareness of slipstream becomes primary. Now what happens in slipstream? Different ways of being: you simply are; it simply is. All is expansion; all is contraction. All is resonance and all resonates with the beat of God. It is within this slipstream that you can tap into being one with nature; but even nature is another level to be moved through.
For, as thought presides over consciousness, for many of you nature presides over reality. Reality, I hear you say, isn’tthat the domain of conscious thought? There is a truth, there is a harmony, there is an equinanimous resonance deeper than all of that. As deep as the deepest part of the sea, as wide as the widest part of space: yet it is neither space nor sea, but existing beyond form and beyond the levels of form.
Within this reality, within this stream, you will meet me. We will talk again.
So we all exist, all of us, as one but in the slipstream below the level of conscious thought. I say below for we are always there underneath the conscious thought. The conscious thought is like the interference on the television screen of old that becomes all absorbing. Imagine a person who, rather than watching the screen, begins to watch the interference around the side of the screen, and so misses the main show. This is what’s happening. The main show is missed. To some extent this has always been. However, there is more at stake within your world at the moment. Hence, my return.
So I say that we are all here existing below the level of conscious thought for if you take away conscious thought and begin to breathe, “da-da” there we are! (I do have great humor Zoe and I like to use it.)
So what do you need to do to become mindful of the show? Breathe: simple as that. This has been heard many times before and it will be heard many times after this has been recorded and typed.
Breathing, breathing, when one is conscious of breathing and one opens ones eyes life is simply happening; it just is. In this case Zoe as you have opened your eyes there are birds flying in the trees, the clouds are moving across the sky, there is traffic on the road nearby, in the reflection in the window you can see the palm trees waving in the wind. This is all simply happening; it is all simply being. Now if you were to become involved in the interference of your mind where would this go? Nowhere! It simply would continue to happen without you noticing it and what would you have missed? You would have missed being in the present in your own life. So what is the price of this? For many there is no question, the price is too high. But others choose to become involved in the interference and we move on to the subject, Zoe that we have been making you aware of, the pursuit of pleasure.
How do you feel Zoe opening your eyes, breathing?
MB: Yes, are you concerned?
MB: Are you worried?
MB: Are you desiring?
Z: No, not even that cup of tea.
MB: Simply by breathing and opening the eyelids. Isn’t that amazing? Now let’s put you into a different situation Zoe. Let’s put you into a busy office. Imagine one where the phones are ringing, people are talking, there’s artificial light, there is work in front of you, your in-tray is bigger than your out-tray. Imagine you sitting in this situation at your desk and picture yourself breathing and opening your eyes. How do you feel?
MB: What is happening around you?
MB: Do you have any desires in that moment?
MB: Now let’s move you into a different situation- one that my forefathers are said to have experienced. Let’s put you into the middle of a battle zone. Open your eyes and breathe.
Z: Don’t know if I could do that Buddha.
MB: What would you be doing if you couldn’t do that?
Z: I would be looking around me to see if anyone is going to kill me. I wouldn’t feel I was capable of relaxing or switching off my adrenaline system. I feel I would need the heightened reality to live.
MB: Ok, what would it take for you to breathe? A God to visit you?
MB: You know the story Zoe and I know the story too. There are times when the human system is built for dealing with such stress, such chaos, and such heightened senses of the need to survive. You have, after all, evolved from the animal kingdom where this is a highly necessary part of their reality. To switch off your sensory system may involve in your own death.
Background to Conversation with Maitreya and The Rod of Healing
TMichael: As I discuss in the FAQ’s, I used this exercise along with allopathic and alternative treatment when I had cancer. Within 3-4 weeks my stage 4 cancer went into complete remission. Several people have since inquired about the rod of healing. So I posed some questions to Maitreya after realizing I still didn’t understand very much about it even though I could attest its efficacy.
TM: What is the rod of healing (ROH) and how does it work?
Maitreya: It is an energy bundle that runs the length of the spine and corresponds directly with the nervous system. The nervous system controls all of the body functions as the communications conduit and likewise does the ROH do the same to stimulate the nerves, which in turn stimulate the necessary secretions and coordination of healing properties in the body.
To activate the rod of healing one has only to recognize his or her responsibility for personal health. This is not something that comes from outside oneself. The body is capable of producing all the healing necessary to maintain perfect health. The imbalances created are due to a number of factors influenced by ones disconnection with this truth from the time of infancy. As one ages and becomes more and more focused on outside stimulation the natural healing mechanisms atrophy. You may ask how is this so? It’s because the channels of energy that keep the body vibrant and healthy rely upon use, and use is reliant upon awareness and knowledge of what is true about one’s nature. There is no amount of outside diagnosis and treatment that can cover as thoroughly and intricately what the body through the informing spirit can know and do.
The rod of healing is a part of every human but lies dormant and atrophied due to lack of use because of over dependence upon outside treatment methods. There is a real predicament however and that is that outside treatment has displaced the ROH and therefore cannot be abandoned in most cases without deleterious results for a person. Each one will have to know his or her level of awareness and acceptance of the ROH. Where it is low, then reliance upon outside treatment should be continued until such time as there may be a substantial shift in awareness. Where it is high, then more reliance on the ROH is possible with good results.
TM: So how does one activate the ROH? Are you saying that you just have to be aware that it exists and it will work?
Maitreya: It works when: 1) you are responsible for your own health, i.e. you are mindful of your body and what you do to it and with it; 2) you are aware that your spirit is capable of managing your good health through the ROH and the body’s healing mechanisms. The degree of success you will have is based upon the strength of your acceptance and use of this knowledge. It will vary by person depending on his or her place on that continuum. It is never too late to work with it. The success prayer groups have experienced are an example of the strength of this power. Even though the power of prayer is external to the person receiving the healing, they activate the ROH by strengthening ones own resolve and personal spiritual power. If your spirit is powerful enough to animate physical life you must understand that it is capable of maintaining perfect health.
TM: So, it’s our ignorance and our seeking outside correction for poor health that prevents us from having perfect health?
Maitreya: Yes. And the correction for this will have to be gradual. As more and more people experience healing from within and there are studies that can document this truth then there will be wider acceptance and use. That’s how most things grow in proportion. Start with where you are and grow from there. As you have success share it with others and maybe they will do the same.
TM: There’s no instructional manual I suppose.
Maitreya: One isn’t needed. Allow nature to run its course and it will preserve itself to the extent it is supposed to. Excessive management by second-guessing the natural processes will interrupt it and sometimes produce okay results and sometimes not. It is a lot of unnecessary work. But again, humanity is where it is and it is not in a place to abandon its hard won medical achievements before it is ready. Rest assured humanity is moving in this direction and will merge the application of medical technology with the natural process within the next one hundred years. As humans gaze back on this time the treatments of today will be viewed with the same amazement that one living today might view techniques used two or three hundred years ago.
TM: I’ve received quite a few inquiries about money and requests to talk about it. There has been a great body of writing on this from a spiritual perspective. What do you say to someone who asks, “What is the proper relationship to money, how much to have, how to use it, how to get it, etc.?”
Master Buddha: First of all, there isn’t just one way to view this because each person has his or her particular orientation to money given his or her life path. Anything I say must be understood as general statements and then I can offer examples of individual circumstances to show how some principles may apply.
As viewed from the spiritual perspective, meaning from a non-material realm, money is as worthless as a bicycle would be for travel across an ocean. It is purely a human creation. So your question presumes a spiritual oversight that doesn’t exist except in the form of advice and counsel that may be offered from time to time. That is the spirit in which I present these ideas today.
Let me attempt to simplify the concept of money in relation to a person. Humans have decided that money shall represent a value of some thing. Those things may include the physically inanimate object (house, car, etc.), a personal action (one’s labor), a promise for future delivery of value (speculation), restitution for past value (grievances resolved), a gift of love or social obligation, so on and so forth. The second premise is that the value of money shall equal approximately the value of that thing in the exchange. Sometimes the values are not equal, and if they are too unequal, then one or the other person feels either elated or cheated.
The third premise created by humans is a system of ethics regarding transactions between one another using money or the thing valued as the currency. This is a point of departure between the diverse cultures of the world. The one dominant force has been the Western philosophy governing the use of money. The ethics of the Western system have varied over the past two hundred years, but for the most part they have represented an idealism that while noble in its aim has not achieved its goal.
TM: So is it possible to answer my questions?
Master Buddha: I’m getting there, but needed to frame my response for clarity. The proper relationship to money must take on a general perspective representing larger society (we’ll call general ethics) and the particular relationship of an individual to money. From the general ethics, the idea of freedom to choose one’s occupation and one’s level of income and expense, is I think the best arrangement. As we have discussed in these conversations there is a point that one must consider that individual freedom intersects with group harmony. This means that it is necessary for individuals to contribute to the whole in a way that brings harmony to the whole and doesn’t disturb the peace of the many. This is the greatest insurance for all. The current system in Western society doesn’t achieve this goal, but with modification it could.
TM: I’m not clear on what you mean. Are you saying that there needs to be a balance in interest between the range of individual freedom and the needs of the whole population?
Master Buddha: Yes. For example, in Western society a person is permitted to amass unlimited wealth. On the other end of the scale a person is permitted to starve to death or die due to exposure to the elements because he cannot afford shelter. What is preventing Western society from implementing safeguards at the bottom end of the scale?
TM: We don’t allocate budget for it because we’ve determined other things are more important.
Master Buddha: And the contradiction is that your idealism states that you cherish life above all. Your military runs to all ends of the earth to rescue those in peril. Your governments send aid to foreign countries in an attempt to prevent starvation and lethal diseases from spreading. Yet in your own domestic domain you have families living in such poverty that their lives are at risk daily.
TM: It isn’t a perfect system for sure and most Westerners will agree that we can do more to clean up our domestic programs.
Master Buddha: What do you think is stopping you from doing this?
TM: We have an overly complicated and increasingly corrupt political system that can’t philosophically agree on just how much we are our brother’s keeper.
Master Buddha: It is first and foremost the obligation of your governments, using the general treasury, to prevent starvation and health-related problems derived from poverty. This cannot be left to the generosity and goodwill of individuals. It must begin with your domestic sphere first. It is there that you work out the ethics of being your brother’s keeper as you phrased it. Once you have mastered that step then sharing that wisdom with other cultures is a natural extension.
TM: We have the resources to do what you suggest, but not the collective resolve to do it.
Master Buddha: This is true, but you asked for a perspective on the proper relationship to money. You will have to work out the politics in order to deliver a just relationship.
TM: Okay then, maybe you can state what a person should be required to do in order to receive assistance that raises his status above poverty. That’s where we fail; we can’t agree on that. Some people say we should be self-reliant and others want to give to others with little or no requirements for self-responsibility. So, what is the answer?
Master Buddha: Ah you see, now you are into the business of designing a society that grapples with such ethical obligations yet stumbles at the final step failing to complete the mission. If the US government felt the collective will of its citizens favored a system whereby no citizen would be permitted to fall into poverty, could they achieve that?
Master Buddha: Then it must be that the collective will of its citizens do not favor such a system.
TM: How many citizens create a collective will?
Master Buddha: Enough that under your political system you could legislate and implement the system.
TM: Then you must be correct. Sadly it must be true. But you still haven’t answered my question of self-responsibility.
Master Buddha: Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Your society has through its own design created an array of citizens from the genius to the infantile. Your society is responsible on a par level with the individuals that make up society. It will take many generations of enlightened governance to correct the mistakes and injustices created by past policies and practices. It will likewise take time for individuals to climb out of their ignorance or unfortunate circumstances due to conditions beyond their control.
Wandering your streets are the insane and the helpless. They cannot take responsibility for themselves in any way.
You have many people who are indolent and averse to responsibility through personal predilection and familial training. They will have to be educated on a new understanding of their responsibility.
You have a growing number who have turned to crime and are either incarcerated or among the general population. They will have to be educated, and until they are they will remain incarcerated because you have no other way to assimilate them.
There are those who through no fault of their own have fallen upon hard times due to major shifts in the economy. They will need to be retrained in new occupations and helped along the way.
When there are enough enlightened citizens there will be a more enlightened government and they will realize the long-term commitment required to correct your system. It is a race against the clock.
If you do nothing to correct this situation, because as a society you think it isn’t your responsibility, then you will suffer the consequences of doing nothing. The consequences will include a greater divide between the economic classes, thus more poverty; less efficacy in minimum education achievement among the lower classes; increased criminal activity; reduction of individual freedoms due to crime prevention measures; compartmentalization of community along class lines further reducing the efficacy of government and the erosion of community infrastructure. You can probably project from there what will transpire next.
If however, you find the collective will to make a long-term commitment to correction, then you will begin to see minor changes for the good. It will take patience beyond one, two or three generations. That is perhaps the greatest challenge for a society that has come to expect immediate gratifications of its goals (even though this hasn’t really been the case).
TM: What can you say to the questions regarding individuals and their relationship to money? What are some guidelines to follow is really what I’m asking.
Master Buddha: As individuals you must graduate through levels of ethical refinement regarding the role of money in your life. What is good for one person may not be good or right for another. For that reason do not be hasty in judging others for their view in earning or handling their money.
As Master Jesus and I have maintained throughout these conversations, release judgment from your view. Find your relationship to money based upon your path and your understanding and allow others to do the same without inveighing their choices. When you have come to peace with your relationship to money then you may offer a helping hand to others who may wish to hear from you.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Love and Loneliness (Part 3)
TM: I recently had an experience that put to test what we discussed in parts one and two on loneliness. Someone very close to me wanted to die because of severe loneliness, alienation, etc. The ideas that we discussed seemed so intellectual and abstract that she couldn’t bear to listen or discuss them. She wanted to die because she didn’t care about anything. What would you do for someone is this shape?
Master Jesus: Love her first. Love her with all your heart. Let the power of love pierce her fog of confusion. Each person will respond differently to mental concepts, but all will respond to the purity of love in the same way.
TM: I don’t know what that means or how to do that.
Master Jesus: It means that your heart informs you and moves you to action, not the mind. When the mind argues and rationalizes a point to her, the heart just embraces her for who and what she is. The mind suggests changes immediately, the heart accepts first. The mind demands discipline and compliance, the heart offers comfort.
TM: Yes, but if she has reached this point, it’s because of behavioral patterns that need augmenting. Isn’t what you’re suggesting just a form of enabling the behavior that is so destructive?
Master Jesus: I’m speaking about first responses. The changes will come only when she feels love, first from you then from herself. Any changes prior to experiencing love are subject to disruption with the slightest provocation. No matter how sound your mental concepts are, they will wither and fall away if the emotional turmoil is present. The problem is that the emotional powers are tethered to older thought forms that are made even more powerful when denied or left unaddressed through unconsciousness. Love begins the dissipation process and provides the strength required to weather the battle. It must be experienced first; that’s why I say to you to lead with love.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Anger Management
TM: May I ask about anger and its role in our lives and relationships? Will you begin with offering a definition of anger?
Master Buddha: What may seem obvious to most everyone is that anger is a reaction to not getting what you want when you want it or in the way you want it. It can be your fault, or it can be someone else’s fault. The second reflex of anger is retribution or evening the score to recover what you didn’t get plus a bonus for having suffered the agony of anger and inconvenience. There is also anger once removed, meaning on behalf of an injustice done to another for which you have a connection or affinity. The reflex of retribution is the same.
TM: I have a difficult time knowing when to express anger, that is, when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. Sometimes I wonder whether or not anger is necessary or not, even though it seems to arise as an involuntary reaction.
Master Buddha: Let’s start with the involuntary reaction part of your statement and then move to the rest. Anger is a natural human emotion just like love, sadness, grief, joy, happiness, bliss, disappointment and others in the spectrum. They arise spontaneously as a reaction to what is happening in your life. This as a general statement is true for every human on earth. Then how do we account for the differences in reactions among people? Why do some people react violently to the slightest provocation and others almost not at all to severe events?
Humans share in common an emotional body that works in concert with your physical and mental bodies. There is an influence based upon one’s past life history—what must be experienced this lifetime? There is group connection—what must be worked out for this group of beings? There is the influence of parents, family and community that impacts one’s emotional body and conditions its reactions. Beyond these local influences, there is responsibility from humanity’s role on Earth.
The confluence of these many factors produce differences in reactions from one being to another.
As a social concern, there must be a range of acceptable reactions and for that humans have erected laws to regulate behavior. Within those laws one will find instances that permit retribution resulting in death of the offending party that passes as justifiable because of the provocation of anger and the acceptance that that person is not liable for such reactions, or as is in some cultures, entitled to the justice of the extreme reaction. Other cultures don’t condone anger reactions to that extent, but make some allowance for it that support the concept of it being involuntary if acted out spontaneously. There are also social customs below the threshold of laws that regulate behavior.
To answer your question of whether or not anger is necessary, we must ask to what purpose is it necessary.
TM: Some people I’ve spoken to about this usually say that expressing anger is natural and involuntary and that it releases the energy from you and that’s a good and natural thing, then you move on. Their assertion is that anger is within the constellation of natural human emotions as you just said and that we eventually evolve to the point that we can freely express anger without killing one another, but express we shall just like any other emotion.
Master Buddha: Would you say that as a rule, expression of anger has the potential to be more destructive in its effects than the expression of joy or sadness?
TM: In some cases yes. But maybe that’s because people overreact to some things due to repression of anger until they explode disproportionately.
Master Buddha: That’s possible, but let’s go back to your question to what purpose it serves and so is it necessary. If our definition of anger described the circumstances of anger, then let’s answer what is anger energetically? What purpose does the delivery of that energy serve?
Anger, energetically speaking springs from the desire nature, which in turn reflects human survival needs, and desires beyond the necessities of life. Anger is the defender of those personal and group needs and desires. If they are threatened, then anger arises to defend. Energetically, it is linked to desire and it does not discriminate between basic needs and frivolous wants without the help of the mental body. Anger at its root level, just is the defender that can be, when combined with mental energy, an impetus to aggression.
TM: In the desire nature and its list of wants, do you include things like dignity and respect?
Master Buddha: Yes, of course. That is a matter of ego interpretation of necessities that we have covered elsewhere.
I wish to draw your attention to the fact that anger derives its force and origin from its role as defender within the human realm of physical, emotional and mental.
TM: From that are you implying that anger doesn’t exist in other realms, such as spiritual?
Master Buddha: I say emphatically that anger does not exist in the spiritual realm because there is no need that goes unfulfilled.
TM: What about the whole Lucifer rebellion? That sounds like some needs unfulfilled.
Master Buddha: That was a matter of pride and desire, not of anger. It was a calculated, creative execution of a perceived right of domain. It failed.
TM: So spirits in the universe weren’t angry with Lucifer and his minions for disrupting and corrupting everything? I mean it seems like a major conflict and you’re saying there was no anger involved and I find that hard to believe.
Master Buddha: What can I say other than what I know to be true? There was disappointment in the whole affair, but not anger or retribution associated with anger. There were consequences that were accepted with responsibility by all involved.
TM: Okay. Please go back to your line of thought.
Master Buddha: Anger finds its origin in the human realm. Given that, we can look for its necessity there. Its purpose is to defend. But is that necessary?
TM: I think I know where you’re going. You’re going to argue that our desires aren’t necessary, neither is defense of them; so, anger isn’t necessary.
Master Buddha: That would be a difficult argument wouldn’t it? Many people would disagree that desires are unnecessary. What about basic survival needs? Don’t those need defending? Can’t anger be necessary for that?
TM: Yes, I suppose so. But couldn’t they be defended without anger? Why is anger necessary to arouse defense?
Master Buddha: Because it is. This is where humanity is right now. As the human race evolves closer and closer to its spiritual nature there will be a diminishment and eventually a disappearance of anger as the impetus for defense. Over time there has been and will continue to be this gradual receding of anger.
TM: I’m surprised. I never would have guessed that the official ‘Master’ position is that acting out anger is okey-dokey.
Master Buddha: Well, we have to cover this a bit more to qualify that position. I think what you’ll discover is that our understanding of human nature encompasses a realistic perspective of long term evolution of human characteristics and traits. The expression and use of anger as a defense mechanism is one. There are others.
TM: I think I need some elaboration on this, because it goes against what I believe.
Master Buddha: And you believe?
TM: Anger is a natural emotion arising from our attachment to what we desire and feel entitled to have. I don’t believe it’s necessary, but we are conditioned to express it, violently sometimes, and to accept it and actually be entertained by it. I believe there are ways to express anger without being harmful to others and that seeking revenge and retribution create more attachment to the experience. I agree this is an evolutionary process, but surely we at the point where we can see that anger isn’t necessary so that we can explore other ways of providing for our survival.
Master Buddha: Does it make you angry that others can’t see this point and share your belief?
TM: A little.
Master Buddha: This is one of those conundrums for which we can’t assert what should be based upon what we’d like it to be—it just is what it is. And at this point in human evolution there is a substantial number among the world population that experience anger differently from the belief you have stated and it’s going to take some time for the weight to shift. In the meantime there is progress toward peaceful solutions among people who have recognized, if nothing else, that peaceful solutions grant more security to the protection of needs and wants than it does by using anger and retribution. It’s a start. You don’t make the shift by being angry or judgmental towards those who still regard anger, violence, war, or force as the natural solution to feeling threatened. It is the natural solution for those grounded in the materiality of humanity, and that is the majority population of the world.
It will change over time through the enduring examples by those who have mastered peaceful solutions to threatening situations. It will happen. Patience is required.
TM: It always requires patience doesn’t it?
Master Buddha: Patience and a non-judgmental perspective.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael on Sexuality in Western Society (Part 2)
TM: We left off in the first conversation talking about infidelity, divorce, and the role of guilt, shame and judgment within a heterosexual marriage (also monogamous relationship). What would you like to add to that part before we move on?
Master Jesus: What do you wish to know?
TM: Is there anything that husbands and wives, lovers, mates can do to better understand the contemporary shifts occurring around sexuality within their relationships that would help them provide more joy for themselves and their families?
Master Jesus: First of all, they can stop and recognize that there are many changes going on in Western culture and that as much as each one is a part of the shift each one is also affected by the shift. This requires compassion for all, even when one feels more affected and less the one producing the effects. This wouldn’t be so difficult if there weren’t so many changes occurring simultaneously in your society. The compounding of so much cultural shift is devastating to sensitive ones and challenging to everyone. There was a time when most people knew their place in society and knew the code of behavior that went with it. This has been disintegrating for some time now and it is blurry for most people.
This is why you see a severe clinging to groups and organizations that emphasize the ways of the past. It’s an effort to put the brakes on rapid changes. So, for those of you who feel changes are not happening quickly enough to satisfy your desires, have compassion for those who feel it is happening too quickly and they want relief from the compression of fear.
I can tell you the number of prayers that are uttered each day to slow down society’s speed of change and to return to better days. Also, I can tell you the number of ones that wish for it to speed up to get to the point of new awakening and joy. The goals are the same; both types want peace and joy in their lives. They have different tolerances and notions of how to get there. Have compassion for each other.
TM: So, what is the most significant change with sexuality between marriage/life mate partners?
Master Jesus: The most significant change will be equality between the genders. The imbalance of male dominance as the authority will give way to equality. This is not easy, as has been evidenced over the past one hundred years and more specifically in the past fifty years. Some men are reluctant to give up this power and some women are all too anxious to take it from them abruptly. It will work out steadily over time. There are a great number of people of both genders who embrace this and make it work in their daily lives even though they don’t see it routinely supported in society at large. That will change as more and more people shift into this mode and more examples and reinforcement are evident.
TM: What kind of time frame are you suggesting?
Master Jesus: I’m not suggesting a time frame, but pointing out the process. Time is shifting according to the acts and acceptance of all those beings in the process. Understand the process and where it is going and do what you can to support and encourage it with love and compassion for how difficult it is for everyone.
TM: To continue with heterosexual relations, is sexuality between men and women more about social adjustment right now rather than sex acts (physically speaking)?
Master Jesus: It always has been, it’s just more exaggerated now given the major shift we just discussed. There are the basic physical acts between partners and those are important in conveying intimacy, tenderness, comfort, passion, intensity, joy and an array of emotions that spring from each person and from togetherness. But sexuality is not confined to those acts and represents attraction on all levels. Whether or not this is registered, depends on the conscious awareness of the partners. In other words, there are energetic exchanges occurring on many levels and some people are aware and others are not.
You’ll witness the current interest in tantric sexual practices, which is an effort to connect to the many levels of consciousness available. The emotional level most people experience, but many still are blocked in this way. Others are primarily attracted to the mental level. These are represented by fantasy exploration and imaginative experimentation. The spiritual level is rarely if ever experienced by humans. Those who do experience it have a difficult time describing it to others because it is beyond your normal sensual range.
TM: Is the spiritual level more related to the emotional level?
Master Jesus: Yes, in that it is a hyper-feeling sensation. Yet it is beyond the one-to-one experience of the physical sex act; meaning that what many mystics reported in their experience of rapture, a feeling oneness with all, is closer to the reference.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Sexuality in Western Society (Part 1)
TM: I realize that we may not be able to cover this topic in one conversation, but at least we can start. Please talk about the role of sex in Western society. Specifically, what do you observe as the general state of sexual health among our population?
Master Jesus: This is sure to provoke more than a few people who stand in judgment of sexuality when it deviates from their spectrum of acceptable behavior. Likewise, those who feel that anything goes will likely rise in defense of their personal honor if Master Buddha or I speak disapprovingly of their behavior. You’re right in that it will require several conversations in order to present a full picture of the state of sexuality in Western society. It is not our intent to approve or disapprove of human sexual behavior, but we can speak to what we observe from a perspective of what is serving humankind positively and what isn’t.
TM: Okay, that’s fair enough. I didn’t expect either of you speak from a judgmental perspective, but certainly some folks hope that you will. So, back to my question, do you want to begin with an overview?
Master Jesus: Ask a more specific question and let it lead us into what you really want to know.
TM: It seems that over the past century we’ve come through some dynamic changes from a moralistic and conservative view of sexuality to a liberal, more open view. Even though I know that doesn’t represent everyone, I’m referring to the norm. Has that shift been beneficial to our society?
Master Jesus: Yes, Western society has made a dramatic turn, more so than you are implying in your question. Observing from our perspective it is quite astounding. Most people will agree that there have been some benefits as a result of the shift, while others believe it has planted the seeds of ruination for your society. As with most subjects, there is a little bit of truth found in all points of view. But let’s see if we can shed some light on the various parts to indicate what has been beneficial and what needs to be adjusted to provide future benefits.
First of all, it’s difficult to speak about human sexuality without carefully painting a context for each part. For this part, let us talk about heterosexual conditions within the institution of marriage and romantic relationships in which there isn’t a marriage.
It’s clear from our perspective that many benefits have accrued to married and unmarried men and women from the shift in attitudes about sex over the past fifty years. However, with the relaxing of judgment and guilt around sexual behavior there has sprung up a great deal of confusion. This confusion has contributed to a lot of stress and tension between men and women over their respective roles. Over time this will work out and the major benefit will be a sense of equality. This was missing before the shift and has been slowly coming after a sudden lunge forward. The natural reaction has been two-fold. One is an opening of the floodgates to celebrate the release of age-old restrictions and the second is a recoiling of restriction to maintain the old ways. There is a growing middle that represents the balance between the two extremes.
TM: I agree with your observation. But there still seems to be a guilt-shame axis running through sexuality.
Master Jesus: Yes, this is true. But keep in mind that it is less than it was only fifty years ago. And fifty years from now you will observe even greater erosion in the role shame, judgment and guilt play in the enforcement of restrictions in sexual relations.
TM: But there are some folks who will argue that shame, judgment and guilt are sturdy enforcers and that we shouldn’t allow them to erode. If anything, we should reinforce their power to keep good people in line and get bad ones back in line.
Master Jesus: Shame, judgment and guilt have been the faithful servants of a philosophy that people are inherently bad and need the threat of punishment in order to deter them from wrongdoing. The problem in that philosophy arises in that it forces a belief contrary to the true nature of humankind, which then conditions you to perceive yourselves in constant need of redemption. The fatigue that comes from such an exercise is understandable. But the greatest harm is that it stunts your growth because you are constantly vigilant for wrongdoing and judging one another in an effort to correct or prevent wrongdoing. Add to that you have identified things as wrong that are social conventions created out of ignorance in some cases, and then perpetuated through superstition.
TM: But some things that have become social conventions regarding marriage have served to build families and then community, haven’t they?
Master Jesus: Shall we keep the context to sexuality so that what I am saying does not get confused with statements about marriage in and of itself?
TM:Yes, that’s what I meant.
Master Jesus: Let’s take the social convention of sexual monogamy, or partner exclusivity within a relationship. This is for the purpose of forming a family unit comprised of a husband and wife with one or more offspring. It provides a tight unity and strength to weather challenges on many fronts, economic, health, etc. It does that while at the same time connecting to families once removed from the immediate family. This forms a larger family unit that again provides reinforcement to the core family unit. Containment of sexual partners to the husband and wife ensure this family unity by restricting the likelihood of offspring from various sexual relations.
What protects this arrangement is fidelity to one sexual partner during the lifetime of the family. What has disrupted this pattern is a loosening of the shame grip on divorce and the subsequent remarriage and combining of families from more than a single pair of parents. In some cases this new family unit shares the connection with as much grace as a family unit from single parentage. In other cases, this is not true. Infidelity is the chief cause of hostility between marriage partners and can last a lifetime. Fidelity is considered a sacred trust and when one partner betrays that trust, the sense of betrayal is felt by the extended family and in some instances by the community at large.
TM: I think wounded pride, loss of self-esteem, shame, embarrassment and ego also play a part in this.
Master Jesus: Without question this is true. However, those personal components are activated because of the larger context of social convention that defines what causes shame for an individual or disgrace upon the family.
TM: So, you’re saying what some folks argue is that shame of getting a divorce kept the family together through tough times and in turn preserved the family values of unity and strength.
Master Jesus: You keep leaping over the sexual issues and grasp for the marriage issues beyond sexuality. We can have that conversation if you like.
TM: Thanks for keeping me on topic. Let’s stay focused on sexuality because it’s expansive enough as it is. So, you were saying that infidelity, that is, marriage or romantic partners who don’t honor sexually monogamous agreements, create discord within their relationship and the family and is likely the eventual cause for divorce. Most people would agree. What’s the point?
Master Jesus: The point is that if you take the social convention of sexual monogamy as a sacred trust and then violate it, you begin the breakdown of that institution. If it becomes widespread, then more rapidly does it breakdown. Once shame is removed as a barrier to divorce the offending mate, then you compound the acceleration of breakdown. Shame and guilt once prevented the infidelity, but in most societies males were often excused from this public humiliation. Although, this isn’t entirely the case. Witness the standard that your politicians must withstand in this regard. The general public still holds the sacred trust of fidelity as an accepted standard for your leaders, while lessening its application to your peers. And divorce is still considered a shameful failure in some circles.
To summarize, you began with the question of what is the health of your general population in regards to sexuality. We have taken a part of that in order to avoid generalizing across all relationships. Now we are only talking about heterosexual relations; specifically long-term monogamous relations. We are discussing the role of fidelity to a monogamous agreement and the results of infidelity. Are you ready to continue?
TM: As usual I want to know where this is going.
Master Jesus: I ask for your patience. In order to have some understanding you must go through the exercise of discovering what your beliefs are around sexuality in marriage. There must be some context in order to gain that understanding and to draw out your beliefs.